‘For many being bribed, he [the Emperor] brought it to pass, that contrary to custom, a certain Bishop should be elected, a Roman, named Laurentius.
For the sake of these persons, murders, robberies and numberless other evils were perpetrated at Rome…
For nearly 150 years, about fifty Pontiffs, from John VIII. until Leo IX., were found gravely wanting in sharing the virtuous nature of their ancestors, themselves Apostles of apostasy rather than Apostles of the apostolic succession.’
Baronius, Catholic historian, ‘Annales Ecclesiastici’, 1600
WHAT OTHERS WROTE ABOUT HIM:
The difficulties which beset Baronius in the publication of the "Annals" were many and annoying. He prepared his manuscript unaided, writing every page with his own hand. His brother Oratorians at Rome could lend him no assistance. Those at Naples, who helped him in revising his copy, were scarcely competent and almost exasperating in their dilatoriness and uncritical judgment. The proofs he read himself.
His printers, in the infancy of their art, were neither prompt nor painstaking. In the Spring of 1588 the first volume appeared and was universally acclaimed for its surprising wealth of inforomation, its splendid erudition, and its timely vindication of papal claims.
The "Centuries" were eclipsed. Those highest in ecclesiastical and civil authority complimented the author, but more gratifying still was the truly phenomenal sale the book secured and the immediate demand for its translation into the principal European languages. It was Baronius' intention to produce a volume every year; but the second was not ready until early in 1590.
The next four appeared yearly, the seventh late in 1596, the other five at still-longer intervals, up to 1607, when, just before his death, he completed the twelfth volume, which he had foreseen in a vision would be the term of his work. It brought the history down to 1198, the year of the accession of Innocent III.
Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1911